Salt in Oakwood Hills (or Lack Thereof)

This notice about salting Oakwood Hills Roads was sent out:


Due to the limited salt supply remaining, we have instructed the village’s snowplowing contractor to follow the following salting protocol for the remainder of this season:

  1. Snow Events – Salt only the Hills section of the village and all intersections. Do not salt the Flats (including the Chalet and Fawn Ridge subdivisions).  Again, please salt all intersections – Hills and Flats.
  2. Ice Events – If icing occurs, salt all village roads as necessary to insure safety.

Oakwood Hills Public Works and Police will be monitoring the village’s road conditions and coordinating with our plowing contractor to insure the safety of village streets.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Please drive safely.

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Please allow us to clarify the situation regarding the salt controversy.

It has been questioned as to why we are running out of salt and where the salt budget funds have been spent.

For those residents that have attended past Village Board meetings, the issue of salt supply had been discussed and these issues answered.

Snow is piled high in Crystal Lake parking lots.

Snow is piled high in Crystal Lake parking lots.

For those unable to attend these meetings, we will try to recap this season’s circumstances.

At the beginning of this fiscal year the Public Works Committee requested and received board approval for a salt budget of $40,000.  This budgeted amount was predicated on the belief that the village would participate in the State of Illinois Joint Purchase Agreement.  The village submitted a requisition for the purchase of 500 tons of bulk rock salt at a cost of $60.91 per ton.

As you can see the budget of $40,000 exceeded the funds required to purchase 500 tons through the State of Illinois, and left an adequate surplus in the budget if additional purchases became necessary. Unfortunately due to the harsh winter of 2013/2014 there was a shortage of salt and our, as well as many other local municipalities’, requisitions were not able to be fulfilled by the state.

Immediate action was then taken by the previous administration and the village was able to secure a salt supply from a private contractor.  However, rather than paying $60.91 per ton, the village had to pay $100 per ton. With a budget set at $40,000 only 400 tons could be purchased.

It should also be noted that the fast reaction to this situation allowed the village to secure salt at a much lower price than many of our neighboring communities.  Cary, for example, had to pay $135 per ton according to the Algonquin Township Road Department.

That is the truth as to why we don’t have more salt, and that is where the village spent the money we had budgeted for salt.

Finally, we would like to let you know that we are not completely out of salt.  Prior to the current snow/ice event we did have approximately 68 tons remaining.  The reason for rationing in the manner we have is to do all we can to insure available salt for the uncertain remainder of this winter.

If anyone cares to attend this Thursday’s board meeting, we hope to have the updated, remaining salt balance available at that time.

We trust this covers any unanswered questions.

Mike Riley – Public Works Chairman, Paul J Smith – Acting President

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